Tuesday, April 27, 2021


I was looking out the kitchen window

 the other day 

and seeing the Lady Banks rose

 coming to life.

  It was rather one sided, 

tucked back in a corner, 

and it reminded me somewhat of

 how it has been for the past year,

 always waiting to see what was coming, 

always waiting to see what was happening just around the corner. 

 Would we be able to stay healthy, 

would the vaccine be available and when, 

would Main Street businesses stay afloat

 or would the doors close? 

 All of these questions seemed to be waiting just around the corner. 


Those were hard questions to answer 

and it took time, too much time, 

but the light at the end

 is beginning to shine through. 

Things are starting to open up,

 masks are not being required

 in some outdoor circumstances. 

 If these are good plans only time will tell. 

 What is most important now

 is that we get our vaccinations. 

 I have been trying to be a voice

 for what I think is right for me

 but that might not always be

 right for someone else. 

There are a lot of 

different opinions out there,

 and we all have to do 

what is right for ourselves. 

 Some think after you are vaccinated 

that you are safe 

and don't need any other precautions.

 I think differently

 and when a small county such as I live in

 has three times more cases

 than they did the day before,

 I find that discouraging. 

This is the last

 I will speak on the subject

 except to say I hope

 that everyone gets vaccinated 

and that thinking about 

your fellow human beings

 becomes first and foremost

 in your hearts and minds.

Every spring, 

just after the first small miracle

 of life starts to sprout, 

I have hopes that the garden will 

come back to life 

and at the same time,

 I really doubt that it will.  

Even though our winter normally

 isn't a harsh one

 it still does unthinkable things

 to the garden.  

I have always maintained

 that our garden 

grows in spite of us

 not because of us 

and I try to blame it all on winter

 but then miracles do happen 

and I can clearly see

 around the corners.

I have a "gardener"

 that is very proficient 

with a pair of clippers! 

 No matter what the time of year is 

if, to his eyes, 

something looks out of place, 

when in doubt, chop it off! 

 I, on the other hand, 

tend to love to live under jungle conditions, 

so I don't like to trim, 

but then that always shows 

at the most inopportune times,

 so I complain how we should have

 trimmed at the right time,

 and that sends that "certain gardener"

 looking for his clippers, 

which nine times out of ten, 

he can't find 

but it is that tenth time

 that is the killer.  


 in spite of us, not because of us!

We only had one clump of daffodils 

that came up this year.  

It must be those pesky squirrels!

  In order to preserve the occasion,

 I tried to dry them. 

 Actually, they didn't do too badly

 although this one, above,

 was the prettiest. 

 They will be tucked 

into a wreath someplace 

come next spring.

I would like to thank you  all 

for your kind comments about the books

 in last week's post. 

 It seemed to bring back good memories

 to a lot of you 

and I am so glad. 

 I mentioned that we also got visits

 door to door from 

other types of salesmen.

  We bought a vacuum cleaner,

 I can't remember the brand, 

but it was a cannister type 

with a little top that unscrewed 

where you could put a rag,

 soaked with your choice of 

something that smelled good

 and as you vacuumed 

the scent was everywhere. 

 My personal favorite was eucalyptus oil. 

 It brought back memories 

of when I had a cold 

and my mom put a pan of water,

 with a bit of eucalyptus oil in it

 on the wood stove 

and then I had to stand over the pan 

with a towel over my head.  

It was supposed to make breathing easier and it did. 

 It also made me feel loved and

 well taken care of. 

 I remember when the salesman came

 to the house and we paid him.  

We were contacted by the company wanting us to pay for the vacuum. 

They later found out that the salesman

 sold these vacuums and 

then absconded with the money! 

 Another purchase was

 Life Time pots and pans. 

The salesman came to the house, 

where we had invited a few friends over, 

and he cooked us a whole, delicious meal.  

We sold quite a few sets for him

and after 50 years, 

we are still using three of the pans 

to this day.

The Captain was gifted this tree  

when he retired from the school district.

  After the last storm 

we noticed that it was leaning badly 

so we called a tree professional

 and he said it needed to come out 

before we had another storm.

  We were concerned 

that it might fall into the street.  

Although it was tall,

 it wasn't very big around,

 but when the trunk and the bigger limbs

 hit the ground,

 it shook the whole property.

It took them only about 1 1/2 hours

 to cut it down 

and run all the branches

 through their chipper.

 They left the yard cleaner

 than they found it. 

 Now, we need to clean the corner up, 

and we have a special piece

 to replace the tree.

These are 

the neighborhood wisteria trees. 

 The one on the back left

 and the tallest middle one

 belong to two different neighbors. 

 The one in the foreground 

and the one far right 

is our bush that overlooks

 the Secret Garden...

...but this is all we can see of it 

from the screened porch.

  Aw, the Wonderful World of Wisterias.

Well, life has turned a few corners since I started this post. 

 We drove to Santa Cruz to attend a memorial service for our sister-in-law. 

 It was held in a large tent 

on church grounds, 

three sides were closed 

with one big end open. 

 It was considered an outside gathering. 

 It was a wonderful remembrance of her 

and our niece and nephews 

did such a wonderful job 

of taking care of her and their dad.  

We got to see and hug our kids,

 whom we haven't seen in a year. 

 We came right back home

 after the service 

and now, I guess,

 you can say 

we have taken more baby steps

 towards getting around

 the corners

 that are yet to come.

Have a wonderful week.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


When I first started blogging,

 one of my posts was about books

 from my mother's library (here)

that are now in mine. 

 I don't know how old 

some of these books are

 although she had

 marked 1948 in one of them, 

I just know that 

my mom was an avid reader 

and as far back as memory serves,


Tuesday, April 13, 2021



For the past couple of years,

 I have written about the time
 known as Sprinter. 
 That is when the calendar says spring 
but the weather acts like winter. 
 However, that is not the case this year.
  This is the best spring in recent memory.
  The sun is shining, 
it is a little breezy
 but, oh, so comfortable.
  The air is fresh and 
it is obvious that spring has sprung! 

Wisteria budding out over 
the Secret Garden

"The slow breeze and the warm sun

Write our memories".

Debasish Mridha

It is still a bit cool in the evenings.

  Cool enough for burning fireplaces 

and the smell of wood smoke, 

when taking the dogs out before bed,

is delightful.


A few Cottage rooms 

have been released 

from the throes of winter, 

and I will show those in awhile,

 but first I want to tell you about

 the baby steps

 that are being taken around here. 

 I have been dragging my feet

 when it comes to 

rejoining the world after Covid. 

 My trip to Safeway last week, 

even though I got some pretty flowers, 

was a disaster.  

The Captain and I finally decided

 that we would take on 

something new each week 

to see how it could go.

  This week we decided

 to make a run to Trader Joe's 

to check out if that would work for us.  

We were hopeful 

as it is quite a ways to travel

 for no reason.

Trader Joe's has set up

 a pretty good plan.

  Certain spots are designated 

for lining up going into the store.  

A clerk stands at the door 

and distributes carts to those

 who want them 

and as approximately 

two shoppers exit from another door, 

then one shopper can enter.  

There are not too many shoppers

 at one time in the store 

and if you are watchful 

it is not hard to keep

 the required distance.  

We went in together and divided up the list 

then I want out to the car

 to turn on the air for the dogs

 and the Captain paid 

and loaded up the groceries. 

 On the way back home,

 we stopped for lunch at In-N-Out.

  On the whole, 

it was a very good day.  

Not only did we have a pleasant drive 

and got some more pretty flowers, 

the price of groceries is so much better.

  It was well worth the trip

 and a good start to using

 our first baby steps.

As you enter the Cottage 

you are greeted by

 welcoming words along with...

...a grouping that fulfills

 the promise of spring.

The shelf over the sofa in the sitting room

 is dressed befitting spring. 

 The whole-house wreath 

turns up now inside a fancy frame

 with some faux spring flowers adorning it.

A picture depicting 

some more springtime objects 

sits beside metal candlesticks

 in the shape of spring flowers

with a set of little birds

 and their small nest. 

 I like the exchange of

 spring colors played against

the touches of black.

The shelf 

and the sofa pillows

 add a cohesive touch.

...and the addition of 

pink and yellow tulips

 in a rustic tote 

completes the look.

A purposeful nod 

to the vibrant greens 

and soft colors of spring 

are displayed on the game table.

Because we live in the Gold Country, 

ore carts are a symbol 

of the days when gold mining

 was the sole industry. 

 It appears that Raggedy Ann

 is sitting next to an ore cart, 

filled with our

 one and only harvest of

 daffodils from the garden 

that bloomed in time for Easter Day. 

 But, in reality...

...it is just a cart

 being pulled by Goatzie

 along the dining room table

while her pal, Raggedy Andy,

 comes along for the ride.

The kitchen table

 got another round of springtime.

  Alstroemeria and some garden greens 

look elegant in a farmhouse container 

with a simple bottle of cream 

in the form of a candle

 from The Milkhouse Candle Co.

 that I purchased from 

Marmalade Mercantile.

I love the newest set

 of farm style dishes, 

but when I take them off the table, 

they still deserve to be seen 

and I didn't want to hide them 

away in a cupboard, 

so I added them to the crock shelf

 in the dining room.

I hope you all are enjoying spring

 in your part of the country.  

This last year

 has not been an easy one for most of us. 

 Spring is a new beginning. 

 Although not everything is 

as it should be yet, 

my thoughts are that,

 going forward,

 it will be a healthy, happy and hopeful

 season for all of us.

Stay Smart

Stay Well

Get Your Vaccine

Wear Your Masks


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, April 6, 2021



The date was Monday, March 26, 2021,

 and on that date,

the Captain and I were free of the constraints

 (except for the mask and social distancing) of Covid-19.  

We had taken our second dose of the vaccine 

and the waiting period of 

two weeks was up. 

 This was a time that I had dreamed about

 after one whole year of life 

being not what we were used to. 

 Now, if you know me, 

you know that I am pretty much a homebody anyway, 

so the whole idea of staying at home, 

for even a whole year,

 was not disagreeable to me at all.

  I admit that there were times 

when I missed going 

out to dinner, or out shopping,

 or even just getting dressed, 

and especially going to see the kids. 

But times were hard 

and I certainly didn't want my actions

 to add anything to the overall problems.


 I am a very good rule follower.

In my mind,

 for quite some time,

 I wanted only one thing.  

That was to go to Trader Joe's

 and buy a big armload of fresh flowers.  

That might seem like small potatoes

 to most of you

 but to me that was all

 I could dream about.  

Tim is still waiting for his second shot 

so I knew the kids would not be 

the first place we could go safely. 

 My dear friends were planning 

on going out to lunch, 

like in the good old days, 

but I don't feel safe

 going to any restaurants yet, 

so that left 

just a simple, selfish little thing

 that I could do to dip my toes 

back into the waters of living

Trader Joe's is quite a drive for us,

 so at the last minute 

I decided to go to our local Safeway. 

 The store has been around for awhile 

although it being on 

the opposite side of town from us, 

I hadn't shopped there 

too many times in the past.  

It has a fantastic fresh flower department 

and as that was my main objective,

 I thought that would be a more safe and sane outing for the first time.  

We arrived wearing masks

 and prepared to follow all the rules 

of the one-way aisles and standing spots.

I had talked to Tami 

on the phone the night before 

and told her my plan.  

She reminded me that

 approximately one year ago to the day 

was the first time they had came up 

to do our grocery shopping for us 

and this was the same Safeway

 that they shopped at.

  It was where she picked up

 the tall Easter bunny

 as a gift for me

 and she thought that

 they probably had some more 

really cute Easter gifts available this year.  

My shopping and decorating juices

 were fueled and I was ready to go.

The minute I walked into the store,

 I knew this was going to be a big mistake!  

There were so many people shopping

 and I felt like a caged animal

 with everybody in the world

 breathing down my neck.  

Everyone was masked and staying on their designated spots

 but there were plenty going 

the wrong way up the aisles. 

 The aisles are not the widest

 and the shelving is very tall along the sides, 

so when coming upon another shopper 

I felt hemmed in. 

 To show you how paranoid I was feeling,

 I thought a man 

was following me too closely

so I turned around 

to give him a piece of my mind

 and...never mind, 

it was the Captain!

 Now, let me say right now, 

I suppose for the first time out

 a grocery store was not

 the brightest idea.  

Who likes to go 

to the grocery store 

in normal times anyway? 

 I know I sure don't 

 but, after one year, 

maybe my memory has dulled a little. 


I did get some gorgeous flowers. 

 They remind me of 

sunshine and everything 

that is beautiful.

  I have been showing them as we go along 

so there is an overload but 

they are the star of the show 

and after a whole year of dreaming,

 they did not disappoint. 

 I arranged them in the same spot 

but in three separate white pitchers. 

It seemed like 

they could shine better this way, 

and shine they do,

 like a bright

 golden promise.

In the background, 

you may have noticed a portrait 

hanging over the kitchen shutters.  

This is Great Aunt Hen-riEtta.

  I pictured her hanging 

on a nail, in the attic,

 covered with spider webs. 

 Bring her down,

 clean her up


...in reality, 

I found her on Antique Farmhouse 

and although she wasn't the right color, 

I had a vision of what she could become 

and with the addition of some red paint

 and surrounded by an oval frame

 there you have it...

instant ancestor!

Now, you know the story

 of what happened on 

Monday, March 26, 2021. 

 Was it a day worth

 waiting and dreaming about?

 If you see only the pretty flowers, 

you might say yes, yes it was.

  If you read between the lines, 

you might see that I am just not ready 

to venture out into the world just yet

 and that is OK.

  If you read further between the lines,

 you might notice that there were 

no pretty Easter items to be found.

  Had there been,

 it might have been a 

whole different story!

 Even a year's time 

can't dull the shopping instinct.

Stay Smart

Stay Well

Wear the Mask


Sharing Today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda